Social Media: Twitter Testing Expanded 280 Character Limit for Tweets

Twitter is set to expand its character limit on text posts to 280 characters from 140, starting with a subset of users.

Twitter is set to expand its character limit on text posts to 280 characters from 140, starting with a subset of users.

Social media messaging platform and application, Twitter is looking to expand the character limits on tweets from 140 to 280 characters.

According to the messaging app company, most tweets in English have 34 characters while most tweets in Japanese have 15 characters, and Twitter users tweeting in English hit the 140-character limit more often, which can be a “major cause of frustration.”

Twitter says the new character limit is “only available to a small group” of users at the current time as it gathers data and feedback on the impact of the change. It won’t roll out to all users until they are sure that it “works” for the Twitter community, but are still hoping 280 characters will “make it easier for everyone to Tweet.”

We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.

twitter character expansion

Comments from Twitter Co-founders; Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey

The co-founders Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey also commented on the change below in 280-characters tweets:

Originally, our constraint was 160 (limit of a text) minus username. But we noticed @biz got 1 more than @jack. For fairness, we chose 140. Now texts are unlimited. Also, we realize that 140 isn’t fair—there are differences between languages. We’re testing the limits. Hello 280! 

 

 

This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”  

What does this mean for Twitter Users

“We’re hoping fewer tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to tweet,” Rosen and Ihara said in the blog post.

“We understand since many of you have been tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters… But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”

Twitter has been seeking to draw in users by offering more video, including live streaming of sporting events, aiming to broaden its appeal. This move will give more Twitter users the opportunity and freedom to express themselves without any further limitations.

The original 140-character limit was created so tweets would fit in a single text message back when people used Twitter that way. But most people now use Twitter through its mobile app, where there isn’t the same technical constraint.

What do you think of this new move from Twitter? How will Twitter’s new 280 characters impact businesses, conversations and digital media and activism in general? 
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Mobile TechnologySocial MediaTechnology
Mac-Jordan Degadjor

Award winning Ghanaian Technology and Startup Enthusiast. Passionate about the inter-correlation of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation within the African tech ecosystem. Tweet: @MacJordan

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